The UK’s second largest tour operator, Jet2holidays, has pushed back its resumption date to July 1 in response to the government’s latest decision about its traffic light lists for international travel.
Its resumption date for Turkey, which remains on the government’s red list, has been pushed back even further – to July 22.
Meanwhile, On the Beach founder and chief executive Simon Cooper confirmed that the OTA has decided to extend its decision to not sell new holidays for departures until the end of August.
“We’ll review this again in three weeks when the government makes its next announcement,” he said.
“Our priority is to do our very best to ensure that the holidays we provide go ahead without disruption, cancellation or unexpected costs and hassle. With the traffic light colours only being valid for three weeks, at the moment there just isn’t enough certainty you will get the holiday you booked for departure dates in the near future.”
Portugal, the only major tourism destination on the green list, will move to amber next week while seven countries have been moved from amber to red.
The majority of European short-haul destinations, which account for the majority of Jet2holidays’ product, remain on amber.
Passengers returning to the UK from amber destinations must self-isolate at home for 10 days.
Before now, Jet2holidays had been due to resume its holidays from June 24.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2holidays and sister airline Jet2.com, confirmed both would postpone their restart until July 1 – with the exception of UK territory Jersey which will resume on June 24 as planned.
He said: “We know how disappointed our customers and independent travel agency partners will be following today’s announcement, and we share their concerns and frustrations.”
Heapy added: “The UK government has repeatedly stated that it is making decisions based on infection and vaccination rates, yet many destinations continue to be left off the green list despite having low infection rates and high vaccination rates.
“When you apply the government’s own criteria for making decisions about travel, we simply cannot understand why more destinations across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are not allowed to open to UK holidaymakers.
“We are now calling for complete openness and transparency when it comes to the data, so that customers and the industry can really understand what is driving these decisions.
“We agree that public health must be the number one priority. However, despite all the evidence and data showing that travel can restart safely and at scale, the UK continues to remain largely grounded whilst the rest of Europe opens-up.”
Customers with holidays to amber destinations between July 1 and July 21 are allowed to amend their bookings without charge, the operator confirmed.